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51,800?

David Gill claims that Manchester United are just 2,200 tickets short of reaching the target for the season, which is claims is reasonable given the current financial situation of the country.

“I’ll be clear,” said Gill. “Last year our target was 54,000 season tickets, we’ve sold 51,800, which is pretty good in the current climate. We’ve sold more season tickets than the capacity of most Premier League grounds. Our executive seat sales are on track as compared with last year in a different market. I think the bare facts are that the club is in good financial shape. The ticket sales have held up. We sold out for Newcastle and West Ham but we are not complacent and we’ve got to keep working to make sure that we fill the ground for every game and we’ll do that by playing great football, attractive football, exciting football that brings fans in.”

Is Gill being dishonest or is it as some previously said, that for every ticket given up, there’d be someone else to fill their place?

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So who was lying Mr.Gill?


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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160 Comments

  1. brisbanefan says:

    But Debt isn’t a bad thing which is the root of so many of the problems with this whole thing. People assume debt is bad but its not.”
    This is pure and simple BULLSHIT.
    Debt has two perspectives. For a person in debt but able – so far – to finance it, then its no problem.
    But the company on which the debt will fall if the owners go under the opposite is true.
    The Sword of Damocles is hanging over Old Trafford.
    Had the club not been paying off the Glazers’ personal business loans then a new South stand would have been built by now. At £140mill. there’s no way the club can find enough money to finance this as the owners are taking every available penny.
    The quicker their shopping centre business in the States goes bust will be the day most Manchester based fans will cheer.

  2. wayne says:

    @willierednut i’m sick of the whole thing to but its clear wakey has looked into this deeply and knows what he’s talking about redscot just makes up shit or takes information from anti-glazer blogs that are full of misinformation to start with and as i’ve said before the anti-glaziers want utd to fail redscot hopes we don’t qualify for the champions league thats just very very wrong what kind of poisonous group wants the club they love to go to shit just because they don’t like the owners there is something really sick and perverse about that

  3. willierednut says:

    Wayne – Agree 100%, but they might as well bang their heads on a wall, because there never gonna agree on anything.

  4. Wakey says:

    @brisbanefan

    Except that claim is disputable and is so far from a fact its funny. It shows a complete lack of understanding of Glazers shopping mall business, how its setup and structured and funded and what the profit figure Andy Green provided is actually made up of.

    Also to be funding their failed US business they would be needing to take more than 2mill a season and they would also be funding the shopping malls that they are letting fail not letting the weak ones goto the wall

  5. Wakey says:

    @willierednut

    I respond to him not so much to persuade him but because leaving such comments unchallenged helps make them ‘true’ in peoples eyes. If ONE person questions his and others claims and goes and looks deeper into it and tries to understand better then i’m happy with that.

    It really is the curse of the internet that clueless people like RedScot can make wild claims and go unchallenged even for a minute and he will then have 10 people who have bought his claim and are spreading it as fact to a further 10.

    At the end of the day I don’t care if someone is pro glazer, anti glazer or neuteral but I do care that all of our opinions come from a basis of truth and rationality. If you are anti glazer with an informed perspective that doesn’t get caught up in hysertia then I respect that and the same for any Pro Glazers (Personally I don’t consider myself in either camp myself. I have concerns about aspects mainly that I think the debts 100-200mill higher than ideal but I also don’t have an issue with some debt)

    @rooney the new king

    “united will never go out of buisness but financial wise united are not in great shape when the club is losing allot of cash every year.”

    The club however aren’t losing money every year. The holding company where the club is listed as an asset is but the club makes great profits. Also much of the holding companies losses actually come not from any real cash losses but non-cash deductions that help keep cash in the club. For example 30mill is written off the holding companies accounts every year in goodwill, goodwill being a deduction thats made to balance the books when you purchase an asset for more than its value like the Glazers did with the club. That alone accounts for most of the losses posted by the holding company but costs nothing more than value on paper. Infact it can be argued these non-cash deductions make money because by posting a loss no tax is due which has seen United save over 80mill in its tax bill. Thats 80mill thats been able to remain in the clubs bank account and used elsewhere,

  6. Wakey says:

    @brisbanefan

    The club HAVEN’T been paying the Glazer personal loans though. Infact the Glazers themselves haven’t even been doing so because the tax breaks they get by rolling uo the interest are actually better for them than either paying the interest now or paying down the principle value.

    Seriously if you can show me ONE company that is does tripple digit revenue or more that doesn’t hold a signifcant amount of debt on their accounts in one form or another then I would be surpised. Borrowing money is more often than not, more cost effective than having to make assets liquid to buy another asset, expand, start a new product line etc

    United debt is managable, ideally you would want it a bit lower as its in the upper half of the acceptable range atm but its not unserviable or borderline.

    At the end of the day the Glazers have at this point taken around 10mill in Management fees in total and have taken director loans for another 10mill that are to be paid back with interest. Thats not taking every last penny now is it

    And the upgraded south stand is unlikely to happen no matter what. The PLC certainly would never have had a business to support such an outlay and while the Glazers may be better suited with their significantly improved revenues I doubt the money could be recouped on the cost easierly. Especially as you may have to reduce all ticket prices especially in this climate to get 90k into the stadium every week or at the very least rezone some areas to cheaper levels which may hit the increased revenue figures

  7. BD says:

    @ Wakey

    I understand where you’re coming from mate, but I would like to clarify some facts about the debt.

    1. Chelsea’s debt is no longer debt per se, its equity. If Roman packs up his bags and goes, he gets fuck all. He cannot demand money back from the club. The only way for him to raise funds is to sell, and that is not likely in the least.

    2. Yes, a lot of businesses run on debt these days, especially with the recession in full swing. But that does not make it acceptable. If there is a way that you can live without debt, that is always preferable, don’t you agree? We lived without debt, albeit more frugally, for more than a decade before Glazer showed up. Now we are the most indebted club in the world. That is just not right.

    3. Debt incurred as a result of ambition, or a necessity for overhaul of the club’s players, staff or structure is somewhat understandable, although risky (Leeds, City, etc.). Debt incurred to enable a person to buy something, and leverage that very asset to pay for the debt is just financial bullshit. Its the equivalent of me asking you to sell me your car, and in payment, I will drive you around the block a few times in that very car I just bought. Its a nonsensical system, and the sooner it goes, the better for all sporting institutions.

    4. Yes, Glazers have imparted a lot of sound financial advice, and have taken the club into uncharted territory with regards to sponsorships and merchandising revenue streams that no other club has taken advantage of. What’s wrong with a fan-based ownership structure with a business-oriented Chief Executive, who can do all that but still knows he is answerable to us if he takes us down? The problem with a single owner is that they don’t seem to get that this is more than a company, more than a business entity. Its a cultural, social organisation that plays a significant role in the lives of nearly 300 million people worldwide. To quote Barcelona shamelessly, its “more than a club”.

    5. Finally, barring a few idiots who want Fergie to spend billions and buy up the UEFA team of the year to give direct competition in the money stakes with City et al, most United fans DONT want a team full of overpaid, underachieving, unmotivated millionaires. We dont want “5 world class players in each postion”. We are happy with the ideology of Sir Matt and Sir Alex, and that is primarily the development of youth, and squad that is composed of a core of homegrown players (who understand what it is to play for this club) and peppered with select talented and ambitious foreign stars.

    In contrast to a few fools who bleat their paranoid agenda here, I believe in Fergie. If he says we dont need Ozil and Khedira, then we dont need them. Period. Whatever his instincts might be with regard to MUST or Glazers or G&G, the supporters trust him to make the right calls as far as the management side of the club is concerned. There is no need for people to come out and cry about the end of United just because we didn’t splash the cash.

    Some of the attitudes I see in these two groups is ridiculous. I hope the majority are somewhere in the middle, with some sanity in their approach to this great divide.

  8. rooney the new king says:

    Wakey – I know debt is a good thing but its bad in football because I just dont see united sustaining these numbers when fergie is gone. when fergie goes I just dont see the finances to pull the glazers out of this hole. the interest payments are a joke at times and where do united find the cash to replace fergie with a top draw boss who will be after a good salary and give him a check book because he may want to do things different. I would not be suprised if they sell up when fergie retires

    the NFL model is a dream model and unlike this country and many they develope loads of talent and college football is even a bigger event than the NFL and it has mre interest. thats like saying the reserves are a better draw the the premiership

  9. King Eric says:

    Mozza – Your post at 18.55 is one of the best I have seen. Bang on.

  10. King Eric says:

    Wakey – Your post last night about someone being 3 back in 95. I know I just didn’t want to sound patronising!!!

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